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A group representing public-television stations has petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to require cable-television operators to carry all local public-television channels.

The fcc's "must-carry" rules, which for more than 20 years required cable operators to retransmit all local television channels, were struck down this past summer by a federal appeals court in a case brought by Turner Broadcasting and a small cable operator in Washington State.

The court, ruling that the "must-carry" requirement was overly broad, recommended that the fcc rewrite the rule more narrowly, but the agency declined to do so, according to Peter M. Fannon, president of the National Association of Public Television Stations.

However, after 10 U.S. senators and 9 representatives wrote letters asking the agency to consider a new rule, Mark S. Fowler, chairman of the fcc, invited groups to make proposals, according to an fcc spokesman.

The petition, filed by the National Association of Public Television Stations, the Public Broadcasting Service, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, asks that the "must-carry" requirement be reinstated because public-television stations serve the needs of communities, according to Mr. Fannon. Educational programming reaches 18.5 million children daily, he said.

Two public television stations--in Tacoma, Wash., and the New York City area--have already been dropped by their local cable operators since the rules were struck down, according to Mr. Fannon.

Groups representing public and commercial television stations have also filed appeals asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the appellate court's decision.

Corporations and corporate foundations donated about 25 percent more money to education programs and institutions in 1984 than they did in 1983, according to a survey of 315 of the nation's leading firms.

But as a percentage of total giving, the amount dedicated to education declined.

The survey, conducted by the Conference Board, a New York-based business-research organization, al-so revealed that corporations are giving a greater share of their donations to precollegiate education than in the past, and a slightly smaller percentage to higher education. But gifts to precollegiate education continue to total much less than contributions to higher education.

According to Linda Cardillo Platzer, who conducted the survey, the 315 leading firms gave $503 million to education in 1984, compared with $402 million in 1983. As a share of total corporate giving, gifts to education declined from 40.7 to 40.3 percent, she said.

Ms. Platzer said corporations have increased their giving, but are shifting funds to civic and community activities in an attempt to fill the void left by spending decreases in federal programs. She also said noncash gifts, such as property and equipment, account for a growing percentage of corporate donations.

The 315 firms surveyed account for about one-third of all corporate giving, estimated at $3.8 billion in 1984.

Vol. 05, Issue 10

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